Surreal Beauty Magazine December 2015 - 'Illusions'.

So, my submission to Surreal Beauty Magazine latest Issue (December 2015) was 'Illusions'.

The below shots are in the issue, and I was asked for some text, that wasn't used for whatever reason, but as I took the time to type it all out, I thought I'd put the text up with the images

‘Tears of an age’ was initially just a vibe. It was to be the end of an age. The emotional state of when something has finished. When that world has slowly turned to dust and you know there is nothing left there for you. While I don’t consider myself a fatalist, I do like the idea of endings. On the whole I see them in a romantic, wistful way and a terminus from which you can travel to somewhere new.

So I worked on the initial idea and created a mood board. Once that was achieved, I put together a team to help me achieve that idea. And the team I choose was very important. While they need to be creatives, you can’t bring someone on-board that is relentlessly negative if they are to be at the shoot itself. It kills the energy of the shoot, so I had to be mindful of that. Firstly I choose the model I wanted to work with. I know quite a lot of models but I knew I wanted Lauren Deville for this shoot. She has an aloof, haughty, majestic look that she taps into that was perfect for what I wanted to capture as well as her ability to convey loss. I’d revised the shoots concept a few days after my initial thoughts, and wanted to have two aspects of the character. One at her zenith and another at the end of that age.

For a designer/stylist, I contacted Jo Manners of Jems Corsets, explained my concept to her and she came on-board. She was absolutely invaluable. Her styling was exactly what I was after. We had the ‘alive’ aspect highlighted through the flower headdress she’d made and the corset. It felt powerful to me, and exuded vitality, energy and youth. Jo had reached out to Pendulous Threads UK for the crown that really sealed the ‘end of an age’ for me. A queen that was in mourning and the viewer projects onto it what she is mourning.

After that I contacted my goto MUA, Asta Gost, and she came on-board. She is an unflappable, funny Scandinavian who I enjoy working with and someone who is fun to be around and I can bounce ideas off as well as my friend Anna who spots things I miss. So the team for the shoot was in place, everyone was firing images at the mood board, and we were all in the same headspace with the idea.

Once the shoot was over, I post processed a few images that I felt didn’t really have a voice. In the end, I post processed the images to make them feel like a Francisco Goya painting ‘Dona Isabel de Porcel’. It fitted with my theme of romanticism, and was a post processing style that was something that I hadn’t tried before.

I hope you enjoy the shots.

Location; My Studio

Technical aspects; 70cm Beauty dish key light and Profoto 30x180cm striplight for fill

Andrew Clifton-Brown